Monday, November 21, 2005

Waiting With the Vultures

“And He said to him, ‘Bring to Me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.’ And he brought Him all these and cut them down the middle [into halves] and laid each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not divide.” Gen. 15:9-10
Abram had received a promise from God that He would have a son of his own, and that the land of Caanan would be given to his descendents. Yet, Abram still asked God for a sign of this promise. That is when God told him to get the sacrificial animals.
Abram knew exactly what God was doing. This was how covenants were made in ancient times. He was telling Abram that they would enter into a covenant.

Abram knew just what to do with the animals. He cut them in two, signifying a blood covenant. It was a way of saying, “If I don’t hold up my end, let the same be done to me!”

Since God had appeared to Abram previously, he fully expected that once the sacrifices were cut, and then God would show up to walk through the pieces with him. But God did not show up right away. Instead, the vultures did, so Abram drove them away. Eventually, he fell asleep, and that was when God showed up.

This event in Abram’s life teaches us:

1. There will be times of waiting on God for His timing
For most of us, the hardest part of serving God is the waiting, for me especially. Let’s just say that God is really doing a work of patience in me!
Abram had to wait some 20 years for the promise of his son.
Joseph waited for years for the fulfillment of his God-given dreams.
The point: we must wait in faith. Ps 37:7a “Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him”
2. Our sacrifice will be attacked by the enemy. Our sacrifice of faith, trusting God when everything says to give up, will be visited by the vultures.
Abram had hope and faith when all human reasoning said to give up. He hoped and trusted in the face of opposing circumstances.
We must remember that we are a living sacrifice. We are called to times to lay everything before God, even in the face of criticism and opposition. It’s easy to trust God when the things are going right. It’s entirely something else to trust Him when the when things are at there darkest.
Yet we need to realize that God is with us in that darkness. Abram awoke from his deep sleep not just to darkness, but God was with him in the darkness (v. 17).

3. Finally, remember that in the darkest times of trial and affliction, when we seem to have lost everything, God will bring us out with what we didn’t have going in.
“And [God] said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs [Egypt], and they will be slaves there and will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years.
But I will bring judgment on that nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.”
Gen. 15:13-14

You will come out of the fire greater than when you went in! I’m not talking about material things, but you’ll come out with faith that you didn’t have before.

You’ll have perseverance that you didn’t have before.

You’ll have a greater hope than before.

We all know the verse Job is famous for. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb; naked I shall return. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!” A wonderful statement of faith, but that simply sustained him through the fight. The verse that gives us hope is at the end. “And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.” Job 42:12

I pray that this message has blessed you, and reminded you of the hope we have in Jesus Christ. God bless!


Henry Haney said...

Good message preacher!

It seems that the hardest thing to do is wait. Sometimes we have to drive away the buzzards while we do. We often forget that it is those who through faith AND patience inherit the promises. Often the faith comes a lot easier than the patience :)

God bless and Happy Thanksgiving

michigan preacher said...

You can say that again. The Lord really has His hands full with me! LOL! No, patience is probably the hardest thing for me. I hate waiting, whether it's lines at Burger King or waiting out the storm. Good to hear from you, Brother. I pray everything is well. God bless.

Neil said...

I hate waiting, sometimes feel like I would cut in front of an old lady in line at Walmart if I could get away with it...I don't...but often feel like it. And then to wait with people that are being blessed while I'm waiting for mine...what a struggle. The powerful thing about waiting is you learn to make a choice, to mount up with positive power, hearing the voice of God and learning the lesson, or negative power, not listening or learning and missing the whole adventure that comes with waiting!

Thanks Pastor, I needed to read this!